You’re probably thinking about starting your own nonprofit organization if you found this article. Perhaps you are the new ED for a small non profit and are responsible to make technology decisions. This information is for you, regardless of your role. Let’s start with the most basic steps. We’ll be covering the most important steps to get started. This shouldn’t take you more than an hour, which is the good news.

A website is the most important thing you as a start-up can do. Before you file paperwork with the IRS to get tax-exempt status, or even have your business card printed, I recommend that you have a website. It is not a good idea to discuss your new idea with potential donors and not have a website address. A majority of major hosting companies offer tools that can be used to create a website. HostGator.com is my personal recommendation for website design. They used to offer technical support and customer service that impressed me. 

A real email address is the second most important thing that you can do. It is very unprofessional to give someone a business card that has your email address listed as the contact information. It is easy to create an email address after you have a website. There is no reason not to have a professional address. Google Apps for Your Domain is my favorite, but there are simpler options if you don’t feel confident setting this up. The instructions for creating a mailbox should be simple, no matter who hosts your website.

Buy a new computer. I recommend you separate your personal computer from the non-profit if you work from home. It’s a given that you will require a second computer if you have an office. I recommend Dell to anyone who can’t afford an Apple new computer. Particularly, Dell Financial Services. This is the section that sells off-lease computer. This is a refurbished laptop, which weighs in at 4 pounds and costs less than $400. WINDOWS VISTA is not recommended when purchasing a new computer. 

Now you have a brand new computer, an email address, and a website. This entire process shouldn’t have taken longer than an hour, unless you wait for the computer to arrive.

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